9 Mar 2008

Artisans of the Week, Michael & Lani of GreenSpaceGoods

Today we are featuring a pair of artisans that work together re-cycling and creating gorgeous pieces for people to buy. Mostly they make Jewellery, but sometimes if you are lucky you will stop by their shop and find illustrations and housewares for sale too. There is a great sense of fun to their work and they obviously enjoy working together...

1. Could you please introduce us to who you are and what you do?

GreenSpaceGoods is made up of the crafty duo Michael Ayers and Lani Mathis. Together, we create all kinds of items (but mostly jewellery) out of up-cycled materials. We make everything from bottle cap bracelets to angry tiki domino pendants. A lot of our pieces have illustrations drawn on them that we call "Ink Blots". They are a collaborative process that involves passing the piece back and forth adding shapes as we go.

2. What led you to take up your craft?
We've always been "crafty" I guess. We're always tinkering with one thing or another. I guess what really got us started was discovering domino art and saying to ourselves, "What if you used the domino for it's material, rather than as a stamp surface?". That's why we started carving our tikis out of bone dominos. We were already drawing Ink Blots on Bristol, so everything just kind of snowballed from there.

3. Which part of your work do you most enjoy?
Probably the Ink Blots. It's the most interactive thing we do. Everything else is "hey, could you drill a hole in this?" "Sure. Can you clear coat that?". But when we are working on a Blot, we're both very focused on the illustration.

4. Which part do you find hardest?
Clear Coating. Some drawings can take several hours, but it can all be ruined during the clear coating process. It has to be done, but if you spray it on too thick, the ink will bleed and there is no way to save it. It is a very scary moment and we've destroyed several.

5. Where do you hope to be in 1 year’s time?
I don't think we really know. We definitely want to get into textiles. We like the idea of screen printing the Ink Blots. This is still a hobby for us, so I think as long as we're having fun and our work makes people happy, we'll keep doing it.

6. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
To offer a lot of different prices. We have items ranging from $9 to $120. We'd like to think there is something for everyone.

7. Name other artisans sites/shops would you recommend are worth a visit?
Lani's picks:
KlockWerks by Roger Wood has been a big inspiration to me.
Erinam is another favourite

Michael's picks:
John Tunger's fire bowls.

8. What is your favourite sandwich filling?
2 slices of American cheese- grilled :)

If you want to keep up to date on all the news from GreenSpaceGoods and get some behind the scenes info check out their blog. Thank you Lani & Michael for agreeing to be featured artisans of the week. I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future.

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